Our Ethos

Science based, force-free training.

  • We don’t hurt or scare dogs in any of our training.

  • All training is based on science, it is effective and kind on dogs.

  • We don’t follow outdated principles such as dominance theory.

our ethos

Science Based

Firstly we would like to say we are always more than happy to defend and explain our approach to dog training and animal behaviour. We are both immensely proud of our dedication to the subject. We really do research and stay on top of the most up to date science being produced as well as help gather data for ongoing projects.

And when we say science it is in fact actual science. We read peer reviewed papers of double blinded studies and meta-data analysis on the subject (this basically means really good science!) So everything we do during training is following the advice of the most up to date information we have. Behaviour and training is a quickly progressing area of science with huge advances in the past few years.

Force-Free

The term “force free” essentially means we won’t do or use anything that might hurt or scare your dog in the process of training them. This may seem an obvious decision to make but unfortunately the majority of trainers in the UK still use force in order to train. Even though this has repeatedly been shown to impact animal welfare and show decreased learning ability.

Anything you can train by using force and fear you can train better and more reliably by using force-free training. And you can maintain the relationship with your pet! Take Ian’s training in the military for example; these dogs had to work under very hard conditions with people’s lives depending on them. This very serious training was undertaken entirely force-free and training doesn’t get much more impressive than that!

Any questions you have over our ethos we would be more than happy to discuss with you. We discuss our ethos in more deep during our online course “Introduction to Dog Behaviour“.

Qualifications

We back up all our work here with our qualifications. We are extremely proud of the work we’ve put in to become the professionals we are today. Read more about our veterinary behaviourist Dr Katie and our head trainer Ian and their qualifications.

Unfortunately in the UK there is no legislation on who can call themselves a dog trainer or behaviourist. This results in a market flooded with unqualified “trainers” who may actually be doing more harm than good. It can be very difficult to figure out who actually has qualifications and who doesn’t as a pet guardian. We have written a blog to help make the distinction between someone who knows what they are doing and those who do not.

Some people base their career as a dog trainer just on having lived with dogs for a long time. This is like letting someone cut your hair, because they have had hair for their own life! It doesn’t mean they’ve been doing anything correctly. And it certainly doesn’t mean they have the skills and education to do a good job!

What our ethos isn’t

We don’t follow, outdated, unproved theories such as pack theory. None of our training at Positive Pet Training will be based on scaring your pet. We will never ask you to try to “dominate” your dog or intimidate or hurt an animal.

Animal welfare is hugely important to us, and we hope to you too! Following anything just because “it’s been done that way for a long time” is not proof enough for us!

“If you have trained this way in the past then please still come along and train with us. You dog will thank you for it! And it is never too late to make a change for the better! We are non-judgemental and understand that many people thought that pain and fear were the only way to change behaviour. But now why not learn about a fun, kind, force-free approach instead?!”

Dr Katie Friel-Russell MRCVS, Positive Pet Training